Carolina: Cruising Past 70

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Visiting Family and Making More Discoveries


Living in this big beautiful country allows us to settle where there are opportunities. Bill’s children live in Idaho, Colorado, and Alaska. My eldest daughter lives in California and a sister used to make Alaska her home. Actually, another daughter lives in Canada and the youngest lives in Australia. After all, it is also a big beautiful world! Having family all over allows us to visit many places and make more discoveries.

Denver, Colorado

Recently, we went to the high school graduation of Bill’s granddaughter Cassie in Denver, Colorado. It was an inspiring ceremony, there were joyous photo-ops, and lots of celebratory meals afterward. This granddaughter loves to visit different places, ever expanding her view of the world. We had cold May days with showers, however, so we went to the Butterfly Pavilion instead of the Wild Animal Sanctuary.

Rosie, the tarantula


my first ever butterfly photos
After registering, I found out I had the opportunity to hold a tarantula on my palm! Her name is Rosie and we learned how gentle these arachnids really are. Then we were led to the Pavilion. I was at first not sure if I would enjoy the trip. I thought butterflies, fleeting from one flower to the next, would be very difficult to photograph. Judge for yourselves how much fun I actually had. I was engrossed following them on their flights. Soon I became selective about the backgrounds, the flower, the leaf, or the ground, where they chose to settle, to provide great contrasts in colors.

This was a short trip since we had to go to the next family obligation. But, the surprise of surprises, the night before we left, it snowed…in late May! So we woke up to beautiful winter scenes right at the home of Bill’s daughter. The scenes at the backyard and in front were so wintry wonderful. And all throughout our trip down Colorado and even part of New Mexico, I could not put my camera down and even braved opening the windows to chilly air so I could capture the winter scenes better.

winter scene in May

Show Low, Arizona

When we reached Show Low, Arizona (to where my sister had transferred from Anchorage, Alaska), we found out that it also snowed there the day before. The town’s elevation is close to 6,500 feet…even higher than Denver at 5.280 feet. We were there for the housewarming of her home, now only three hours from our Phoenix home. It has natural wood siding, high vaulted wood beam ceiling, and huge windows all around with a large deck looking out to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

the forest from the deck

When all the cooking and entertaining was done, we set out for a pretty little hike around the Woodland Water Reservoir of the towns of Show Low,-Pinetop, and Lakeside. With an area of 18 acres and a depth of 20 feet, it was not even a mile of a trail but it was an easy and comfortable hike as the temperature had climbed up to the low 60s. There was even a covered bridge, there were people doing trout fishing with friends and family and children were frolicking in the playgrounds.

Woodland Water Reservois

We stopped at the Saturday Farmer's Market on the way home. And there we all went our individual ways to taste the food that was offered: Schreiner’s (Phoenix’s favorite and ours) sausages, spicy lasagna, and hearty crunchy tacos. But what I was surprised about was that there was a kiosk selling CBD oil-infused soaps (very expensive though). I was surprised because I thought marijuana use is illegal in Arizona. Upon further research, I found out that medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2018. Bill brought home bottles of green chile pepper jam, blackberry jam, and Asian sweet-hot dipping sauce. They are all yummy!

at Show Low's Saturday Market

The next day, we were already going back to Phoenix when my sister mentioned that Show Low has a Trump Store! Of course, we wanted to go…Trump is quite a character. It was the former headquarters of the Trump campaign in Navajo County. The enthusiastic owners converted it into the “only Trump Store in the country.” I bought this Adorable Deplorable tank top for a party and Bill bought a Trump Inaugural Mug for a friend. Also on display are four personal letters from the WH.

The Trump Store

Having the family all over the country (and the world) gives us lots of perks. Since we visit them, not just once but many times, we explore deep in the areas where they live. Each time we make new and exciting discoveries.

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